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Getting that outside edge

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Old
03-26-2012, 06:59 AM
  #1
TickleMeYandle
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Getting that outside edge

This is the problem I've always had, with speedskating and now hockey. I just can't get a true outside edge.

In regular shoes, my feet tend to turn out - the outer area near the balls of my feet always seems to wear out first. But in skates, my feet turn in big-time. So I'm always on my inside edges.

If I really focus on it, I can get on the flat part of the blade, and hang on to the outside edge for very short periods of time. But not for very long, before my feet start to turn in again.

The coach last night said to let the skate support the ankle more, and maybe try relacing them so that they are tighter towards the toes, to keep the foot from moving as much.

What drills could I do that would really get me to get that edge? I'm thinking the glide around a circle on just the one skate would help.

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03-26-2012, 07:47 AM
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hockeymass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frackiewicz View Post
This is the problem I've always had, with speedskating and now hockey. I just can't get a true outside edge.

In regular shoes, my feet tend to turn out - the outer area near the balls of my feet always seems to wear out first. But in skates, my feet turn in big-time. So I'm always on my inside edges.

If I really focus on it, I can get on the flat part of the blade, and hang on to the outside edge for very short periods of time. But not for very long, before my feet start to turn in again.

The coach last night said to let the skate support the ankle more, and maybe try relacing them so that they are tighter towards the toes, to keep the foot from moving as much.

What drills could I do that would really get me to get that edge? I'm thinking the glide around a circle on just the one skate would help.
Is the problem that you can't control your outside edge, or that you can't stand flat? When I stand in my skates, both edges are flat on the ice and the soles of my feet are more or less parallel to the ground. If that isn't the case for you, you might need to try a different insole to get your foot and skate aligned properly. Unfortunately, there's no drill to change the alignment of your ankle and foot.

Edit: With you being new to it, the other possibility is that perhaps the skate is not supporting the ankle, like your coach said. If the skate isn't tight enough around the ankle, your ankles may be bending inwards, causing you to skate on your inside edges. Try tightening your skates at the top. Use a lace puller if necessary.

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03-26-2012, 08:26 AM
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bigduga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frackiewicz View Post
What drills could I do that would really get me to get that edge? I'm thinking the glide around a circle on just the one skate would help.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27Vyw_X04Y8

These are what i'm using.

I've got a pretty good outside edge (starting with no ice skating experience) after seven or eight skates of about two hours a shot, I've got fairly reliable outside edges going forward. and nothing going backward. on the odd chance I grab the outside edge going in reverse, I have *no* idea where it's going to take me at the moment...but I've got less than 20 hours of use on my skates, so I kind of suck at everything going backwards.

I think most of it (at least to me it seems like most of it) is getting comfortable enough to get into a good posture and trusting your steel to bite enough to get a good lean going...as with most things, more momentum seems to help.


Last edited by bigduga: 03-26-2012 at 08:26 AM. Reason: link was screwy
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03-26-2012, 09:45 AM
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Jarick
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If your feet are literally turning inside the boot, you need new skates that have a better heel lock for your foot. No way around that.

If the entire foot-skate is turning in, it's just a matter of getting comfortable with your skates, balance, edges, etc until you can comfortable lean on that outside edge.

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03-26-2012, 09:52 AM
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AIREAYE
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Any idea if pronation/supination is at play here?
http://www.footpro.com.au/index.php?...wsread&id=MTI=

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03-26-2012, 11:15 AM
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Maybe you need orthotics in your skates.

Also, don't be afraid to fall when learning to use your outside edge. It takes awhile to get comfortable riding your outside edge. Try going around a face-circle on only your outside edge.

Edit: Just noticed that you are a beginning skater. You need to learn to trust your edges. You will fall. Practice "C" cut with both the inside and outside edge. It will be a practice issue. Your feet won't do what you want them to do, but keep trying. I taught my husband to skate a few years ago and it took him awhile to learn to trust his edges. I'm sure your skates are tight enough, you just need to learn your balance points on your edges.

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03-26-2012, 12:52 PM
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I'll jump in with my noobie experience.

I just started practicing for hockey a few weeks ago. I'm not much of a skater (yet), but I've done a lot of skiing and a fair bit of roller blading.

In my first proper skating lesson I couldn't get off the inside edges. I thought I tied my skates tight, but it wasn't nearly enough. After I got off the ice and *really* tightened them around the ankle I was able to stand flat on the ice and use my outside edges. To get a feel for the outside edge we practiced skating around a circle using the outside edge on the circle line.

I also changed the insoles in my Bauer 60s and put in blue Superfeet before skating this weekend. That improved the fit even more and made it easier to control my edges.

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03-26-2012, 02:28 PM
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TickleMeYandle
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Thanks for all the input.

My feet aren't rolling around in my skates or anything, they just naturally tend to turn in (the whole pronation/supination thing).

On the speedskates, you can adjust the blades so that they aren't dead center under your feet. I ended up moving mine maybe 1/4" to the inside, so that then I didn't have to lean quite so far to get the outside edge. I still was never totally comfortable with that, and it never felt 'easy' to get the edge.

On the hockey skates, there's just a lot more lean to get onto the outside edge, I think. I was able to get to the flat part last night but only by really concentrating on that leg. I was doing backward c-cut drills, I think maybe going forward a bit first will help with that. A little too much with trying to go backwards AND dealing with the edge at the same time. On Friday I did do some of the forward outside edge drills and was able to do the circles with the c-cuts. But adding backwards to the mix threw me completely.

I've been going to public sessions and working on just the skating part of things. There are so many different things I can work on, it's both comforting and scary at the same time. Just knowing that I've got so many things to work on feels a bit overwhelming, but it also makes me feel that this is something I can enjoy doing for quite a while without getting bored. Once I got to a certain point in speedskating, it was kind of the end - during a public session, you can only go so fast and you don't have pads, etc. so you can't really practice going fast or anything! With hockey, there is something new every time that I can work on.

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03-26-2012, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frackiewicz View Post
Thanks for all the input.

My feet aren't rolling around in my skates or anything, they just naturally tend to turn in (the whole pronation/supination thing).

On the speedskates, you can adjust the blades so that they aren't dead center under your feet. I ended up moving mine maybe 1/4" to the inside, so that then I didn't have to lean quite so far to get the outside edge. I still was never totally comfortable with that, and it never felt 'easy' to get the edge.

On the hockey skates, there's just a lot more lean to get onto the outside edge, I think. I was able to get to the flat part last night but only by really concentrating on that leg. I was doing backward c-cut drills, I think maybe going forward a bit first will help with that. A little too much with trying to go backwards AND dealing with the edge at the same time. On Friday I did do some of the forward outside edge drills and was able to do the circles with the c-cuts. But adding backwards to the mix threw me completely.

I've been going to public sessions and working on just the skating part of things. There are so many different things I can work on, it's both comforting and scary at the same time. Just knowing that I've got so many things to work on feels a bit overwhelming, but it also makes me feel that this is something I can enjoy doing for quite a while without getting bored. Once I got to a certain point in speedskating, it was kind of the end - during a public session, you can only go so fast and you don't have pads, etc. so you can't really practice going fast or anything! With hockey, there is something new every time that I can work on.
If you can find a good skate tech they can off-set your holders for you. Seriously look into getting orthotics made for your skates though, that could really help you.

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03-26-2012, 03:09 PM
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Jarick
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+1 for orthotics then, good that the foot isn't rolling around. That was my issue. Having a little more insole under the arch might help with the pronation.

But a big part is just getting comfortable...and it takes a long time to get there. You have to work yourself beyond your comfort level and fall and fall until you figure it out and then it's second nature.

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03-26-2012, 03:53 PM
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I'm a bit confused. I'm not quite sure what exactly the issue is here, whether it's something with your ankles caving in, or an actual alignment issue with your feet, or just a lack of comfort on the edges. If it's the ankles caving in, then make sure you've got decent support in your skates/have them done up well, and just work on building up that strength. If it's the actual alignment of your feet, i'm not really sure what to say other than just keep at it...but i'm not sure moving blades around a couple mm is going to completely resolve things if it's a major issue.

If it's a comfort on your edges thing, the answer is edge drills. Endless edge drills. And then more edge drills after that.

Try doing sets of them with all different edges. Something like this random video i just youtubed up would be a great place to start:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtwM1T3_x6M

You're going to have to be comfortable with 'leaning' and shifting your weight while you're skating. That's sort of the nature of the beast...

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03-26-2012, 06:29 PM
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beth
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The edge drill posted earlier is a good one.

One thing that's really helped me with the outside edges lately is the backwards scissor skate, because it really forces you to roll your ankles and get comfortable on that outside edge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKDbnm_IdYY

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03-26-2012, 06:39 PM
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The only way I've started to get comfortable is to fall down a whole bunch.

If you're wearing equipment, it doesn't hurt. But you have to know where that fine line is between riding the edge and falling, and the only way to do that is to push past it a few times.

Inside edges are easy because mentally we know that we have our other foot to provide stability if we slip. But we're hardwired to not want to fall. Force yourself to.

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03-26-2012, 06:48 PM
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It's really common for new skaters to let their ankles collapse inwards, and to be unable to use their outside edges at all. It sounds like you're making some progress, and it also sounds like your skates fit well. FWIW, a proper fitting skate means that lengthwise your toes should just feather the inside of your toe caps when standing up straight. In terms of width and volume your foot should feel very snugly held and supported, with no ability to shift around at all inside the skate, even if your laces are only tied moderately tight. You should also not get significant pain, though new skates will often hurt a bit even if they fit well, especially for newer skaters who often skate with really tense feet.

It does sound like you could use a little more arch support, though. A cheap solution would be Superfeet, worth a try (some will tell you that it's not really an "arch support" product, but it still provides much more arch support than the garbage stock insoles). If you need something more substantial, you'll have to get custom orthotics made, but try the much cheaper pre-made retail options first.

With all that being said, given that you're a relatively new skater, chances are that most of your problems are simply related to technique. Virtually all new skaters will be very uncomfortable on their outside edges, and many will let their ankles collapse inwards. This link (previously posted above):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27Vyw_X04Y8

Has terrific edgework drills. I think the best progression would be:
1) Just get comfortable skating in a straight line without your ankles collapsing. You will need skates that fit you properly, and that are properly laced
2) Start with the 1-footed figure 8s, on both your inside and outside edges
3) Progress to scissor skating
4) Progress to crossovers (slow crossovers, really focusing on form). Lateral step drills can help here too (walking along the blueline by crossing your legs over each other, facing the end boards)
5) Progress to 2-footed turns (with basically equal pressure on your inside and outside edges)
6) Try the 1-footed skating drill to really perfect your technique

This whole progression will take a long time, probably months of regular practice if you're a new skater. However, as long as your skates fit well and you don't have seriously strange feet/ankles that require crazy orthotics and shims, you should get there eventually.


One last note, bend ze knees! You'll always see new skaters skating around stiff-legged, like this:


But that's a very unstable position, you'll never make any progress with your skating like that. Your knees and ankles should be bent at all times, you're way more stable in this position and can generate way more power:


Last edited by ponder: 03-26-2012 at 07:04 PM.
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03-26-2012, 10:12 PM
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i would take them to a respectable hockey shop and look at alignment as well cause i had that problem with my skates early on

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03-27-2012, 07:12 AM
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TickleMeYandle
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I'm pretty sure my ankles are collapsing inwards. I had that problem on the speedskates, and while I obviously learned to use the outside edge eventually (otherwise I never would have been able to do crossovers at all), I never felt like I was totally comfortable on it. Outside edge drills were always a chancy thing - sometimes I could do them, sometimes not.

I'll work on the figure 8's and the edge drills, now that I know what the issue is I can work on fixing it. Bending the knees will make a big difference, I already know that I feel so much more stable when gliding and pushing with the knees bent.

I'll look into the inserts too. I used them for a while on the speedskates, it did make a difference in providing a little bit of a barrier to letting the ankle collapse too much. I may even still have my inserts from the other skates...

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03-30-2012, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forbs02 View Post
Maybe you need orthotics in your skates.

Also, don't be afraid to fall when learning to use your outside edge. It takes awhile to get comfortable riding your outside edge. Try going around a face-circle on only your outside edge.

Edit: Just noticed that you are a beginning skater. You need to learn to trust your edges. You will fall. Practice "C" cut with both the inside and outside edge. It will be a practice issue. Your feet won't do what you want them to do, but keep trying. I taught my husband to skate a few years ago and it took him awhile to learn to trust his edges. I'm sure your skates are tight enough, you just need to learn your balance points on your edges.
How do you do a C cut on your outside edge? I can't picture that one.

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03-30-2012, 10:47 AM
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Jarick
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Bend your knees, trust your balance, start at the mid and end with the heel. It's the same as a sharp crossover but only one foot. And it is hard to do at first (and when you never practice like me).

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03-30-2012, 10:55 AM
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One drill we did that was very helpful was single leg pushes down the ice. Bend your knees in ready position, then push off one foot and glide, keep doing that all the way down. Really helps build the muscles and power. Do both legs.

Then do the same thing but going backwards, and instead of a forward push, it's an inside C-cut starting at the toe. Up and down the ice, both legs.

For the C-cuts, you can alternate legs going up and down the ice. Start knees bent ready position, then C-cut inside edge left foot. Your other foot should be off the ice, so all your weight on one foot on one edge. Then right foot. Left, right, left, right etc.

Last is the outside edge, which is the trickiest, but same thing. I found it's most helpful to have the foot across the body, i.e. right foot is going to be underneath the left shoulder or even further out. If it's right under you, you will lose balance. There's a component of lean and momentum here too, you can't just stand on your outside edge (unless you have awesome strength and balance). Gotta get going a bit, then work on those outside C-cuts. Left, right, etc down the ice.


^^^^ this was the most helpful thing I did all summer for this $200 clinic or whatever it cost. Everything else sucked but we had a guest instructor one day and we did these for 30 minutes and everyone hated them but I loved them and it made me so much more confident in my edges and skating. Shortly after I was able to do much tighter heel turns. Still need to work on tight power turns though.

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03-30-2012, 06:40 PM
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TickleMeYandle
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I can't believe it, I actually got an outside edge today - and NOT the one I expected to get! I've spent so much time trying to do the left skate, but the right one is the one that worked for me.

I was doing an 8-pattern around one of the face-off dots, trying to make the turn by only using the edges, not by pushing or anything. All of a sudden I could feel the edge of the right skate actually cutting into the ice and I started to turn, so I did a few more and sure enough, there it was! I alternated with the left and right and got the right consistently, the left still didn't feel like it was really cutting into the ice as much.

I stopped by the store and get the inserts today. They did make my skates feel different, we'll see on Sunday if they make a difference on my left foot. It's only the left foot where it goes inward, I don't have the problem on the right. Since I did get the edge on the right, I'm thinking maybe that is a big part of the issue, I simply can't 'roll' my left foot out enough to catch the edge while my right foot is ok with that.

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04-05-2012, 03:24 PM
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Copeland
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frakiewicz, I have the exact same problem as you, right down to the left/right situation. I already have inserts, though, but I'm wondering which ones you got if it helped you in the end. Also, any other tips that have worked for you since the above post?

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